Resurrection Lutheran in Lebanon, Ohio

I was reinvigorated!

“I never really wanted to do this,” admitted Steve Poitinger, Council President at Resurrection Lutheran in Lebanon. “I was busy enough with family, coaching and work. So, the idea of spending hours in a dull council meeting wasn’t very appealing. But now, by using the best practices taught at the workshop, it’s exciting!”

Steve was referring to the best practices he learned about at the Effective Congregation Council workshop, led by Pastor Mike Ward, and sponsored by Thrive of the Southern Ohio Synod ELCA. “It was very affirming! We had made some changes and the workshop showed we were on the right track.” Steve continued, “If you ask people to give their time, you need to be respectful of time. Was it out of line to ask council members to take the time necessary to read the minutes and reports before coming to a meeting? No, it wasn’t, because now we use consent agenda! And you know what? We’re done with our meetings in an hour, yet we still get everything done that needs to get done!”

How does the council accomplish all it needs to do in just one hour? “We focus on the vision, making it clear and compelling,” explained Steve, “and then we empower ministry leaders to do their ministry, setting them free to do their jobs instead of trying to control them or do it ourselves. It’s a cultural change. No more wasting time at council discussing how many pencils to buy!”

“I’m not a big fan of virtual stuff,” said Steve, “but the Effective Congregation Council online workshop was great. The slides were good, the ideas accessible, and Mike was a great resource. Very engaging! The workshop helped me realize this is a total team effort, not just a couple of people with the weight of the world on their shoulders. Like Mike says, serving on a council really should be the high point of anyone’s service in the church, and now it is for me! I was reinvigorated!”

The workshop, led by Pastor Mike Ward, CFRE—Partner with GSB Fundraising and author of Abundance: Creating a Culture of Generosity, was designed to help lay and rostered church leaders increase skills in developing and working from a strategic plan, focus on fiduciary, governance, and generative issues, make best use of time with consent agenda and a purpose for every meeting, and have the meeting be spiritually fulfilling. In other words, it’s reinvigorating!

*Images are not of the person in the story to protect privacy.

Written By Mitzie Schafer